Tosca at Masada

There are times that you just have to leave Jerusalem

in order to see something special.

A performance of Tosca at Masada

is really something to see.

Operas are usually about

Tosca stage

 the stars and their voices,

orchestra close up

the music,

Tosca at Masada

and the actors on stage.

 Giacomo Puccini’s opera Tosca,

produced by the Israel Opera Company,

view of stage

is being performed at Masada in the desert.

Tosca at Masada

The seating is constructed in the desert sand,

and stands stories high.

metal structure at Tosca

The support pipes inside are amazing.

It is hard to show just how big the stage is.

opera stage

Stage left, there are stairs.

Tosca at Masada stage view

Do you see them now?

stage  for Tosca

They are under that giant statue.

Masada opera

The stars have a hard time hearing the music

since the stage is so large,

and use special microphones.

view of food and Dead Sea at opera at Masada

From the top of the seating area

there is a view of the Dead Sea overlooking the vast food court

Masada view from opera

and the huge parking areas for buses.

large lights for Opera

These are not jobs for those with fear of heights.

During the day workers have to be careful of the heat.

Operas are usually filled with drama.

Tosca, set in Rome in the year 1800,

 is full of

opera Tosca

intrigue,

opera singers on stage

murder,

Floria Tosca on stage

and torture.

Floria Tosca, a celebrated singer, did not have an easy life.

Alter boys in Tosca

But this stage is also filled with young faces,

and beautiful music,

Daniel Oren conducts at Masada

led by talented Israeli conductor Daniel Oren.

Masada orchestra

At this dress rehearsal, he repeatedly interrupted

and sang as he conducted the precise way

 he wanted this masterpiece to be staged.

The Italian lyrics of this tragic opera

are translated into Hebrew and English.

The production is big and beautiful.

But at the end of the day,

it is all makeup and make believe.

opera dressing room

This “tortured” actor can smile in his dressing room,

while the audience winds their way back home,

slowly on the road along the Dead Sea.

More than a show, it is an experience.

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